Defining Salafi-Jihadism

You are already well familiar with Salafi jihadist organizations. ISIS (or Daesh) is one example. Al Qaeda is another. Salafi jihadism is an ideology, a belief. The Rand Corporation offers us the following definition,

“Salafism is a heterogenous Islamist movement that ‘believes in progress through regression, where the perfect life is [realized] by reviving the Islam of the first three generations’ of the umma.” 
Furthermore, they define Salafis as “ultra-conservative Islamists engaging in sociopolitical acts that emphasize the hyper-unity of the early umma, absolute monotheism (tawhid), and rejection of alternative Islamic views (bid’a).” Salafi jihadis take up arms to impose their ideology on the rest of the world. These are the bad guys.


ISIS is still active in Syria. They have recently increased the frequency of their attacks in the central region of that nation after showing a decrease in activity in January. In western-central Syria, they have been targeting truffle harvesters and local shepherds. Closer to the Euphrates, they seek our military targets. Why truffles and sheep? They slaughter stolen sheep by the hundreds to feed their hungry troops. Truffles are worth a lot of money, a kind of fungal currency if you will. In the Syrian city of Hama, ISIS sells their ill-gotten gains for up to $11 per pound and uses the funds to further terrorist activity.

ISIS activity in the Central Syrian Desert. Image courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War and the Critical Threats Project.



The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that the Somali Federal Government, or SFG, has eyes toward a significant offensive against the terrorist group al-Shabaab in the near future. In recent weeks the African nation has received an influx of funding from international sources.